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Old 06-11-2008, 03:06 PM   #21 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Frank Lee View Post
The single most effective things we could do are eliminate dependent tax deductions and change the school funding formula so that parents pay it. But that will never happen.
i agree, why should i pay for the schooling of some kid whose parent doesnt give a crap how they do.

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No, because if all parents had to pay for school directly, far far more of them would demand a lot more performance and accountability. Far more parents would start to pay close attention to what is being done to their kids at school. The magnitude of THAT feces-storm would be so huge that the whole school system would be overhauled, by parents with torches and pitchforks, from top to bottom. And that would step on important toes.
People don't ask too much of things they "think" of as "FREE"
good point, i think that the parent-endorsed drop out rate would increase though because parents dont want to take the time to care about the childs education :shakes head:





about the origional topic- i like the fuel meter but i dont think it would work for everyone - my brother and i are great examples, i have never had a mpg gauge and most of the time have been conscious of the effect of how i drive on my mpg where my brother has a newer impala with the mpg gauge and still drives like a bat outa hell. i know it would improve some peoples driving so maybe instead of getting a 10% total increase maybe closer to 3-5 (i have little faith in people, can you tell?)

also i think what would have the single largest affect on fuel would be increasing public transportation, honestly, if we had an electric trolley run on all the main streets in my city i would definately take it to school, work, friends houses, etc. i know that it would more than likely be slower because of having to switch routes but i would rather go slower and have less cars on the road. (the public transportation really stinks in my area so the only people who ride the bus are the ones who cant drive, but when i lived in ft lauderdale i would ride the bus and the train all the time)

just a few thoughts
-john

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Old 06-11-2008, 05:45 PM   #22 (permalink)
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Most important thing we can do is look in the mirror.

We need to realize that somebody else is not going to do it and we need to quit waiting around for someone to fix it. YMMV
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Old 06-12-2008, 01:33 PM   #23 (permalink)
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The single most effective way to save fuel is to cut out unnecessary driving, and to efficiently consolidate errands when we do drive. That would make a huge dent in transportation fuel use.

Keeping in mind that HVAC for buildings is perhaps the major use of fuel in the US, we could add tax incentives (beyond what high price is already doing to encourage thrift) to energy savings devices and techniques. Simple tricks like color selection can do a lot: White roofs in sunny climates, dark roofs only in places with cool summers. Deciduous shade trees. More insulation. Geothermal via slinkies in yards, or use existing water main infrastructure as a heat exchanger, since water mains are already buried below the frost line, run for miles, and have lots of surface area to absorb or disperse heat.

We could also use the ~3,000 year supply of methane hydrates within our shallow territorial waters. Burns clean. If we don't use it, the stuff may bubble to the surface and enter the atmosphere, and is ~25 to ~100 times more potent a greenhouse gas than CO2.
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Old 06-12-2008, 04:43 PM   #24 (permalink)
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We could also use the ~3,000 year supply of methane hydrates within our shallow territorial waters. Burns clean. If we don't use it, the stuff may bubble to the surface and enter the atmosphere, and is ~25 to ~100 times more potent a greenhouse gas than CO2.
Great post. So basically there is enough inexpensive fuel to run internal combustion engines way beyond the time humans migrate to other planets. The doom-mongers and hair-shirts-for-everyone-mongers never mention this kind of information. Why is that?
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Old 06-12-2008, 05:58 PM   #25 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ttoyoda
Great post. So basically there is enough inexpensive fuel to run internal combustion engines way beyond the time humans migrate to other planets. The doom-mongers and hair-shirts-for-everyone-mongers never mention this kind of information. Why is that?
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Old 06-12-2008, 09:08 PM   #26 (permalink)
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There is never a silver bullet.
That is OK because there are no vampires either.
But would you agree that migrating the ICE from imported oil to locally available methane is an improvement in the state of the world?

In my opinion, the less money that is made available to people who choose a value system that says women should NOT be able to read, drive, show bare skin, get drunk, fornicate, or keep all their most sensitive body parts , the better.
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Old 06-12-2008, 09:51 PM   #27 (permalink)
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Exclamation

The problem is that we are too tolerant of stupid people.

We keep trying to think of away of making stupid people less harmful to ourselves and others but all it does is take Darwin out of the equation and we have more stupid people.

I'm all for more/better instrumentation ... remember the fuel pressure or vacuum gauge on GM cars 20+ years ago? It shamed the driver into being light on the gas pedal. Why not bring a better version of that back? It won't affect all drivers ... but maybe some.

Oh, and yes, let's start mining the methane hydrate on the ocean floor. That's a no brainer!
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Old 06-12-2008, 10:38 PM   #28 (permalink)
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The problem is that we are too tolerant of stupid people.
We keep trying to think of away of making stupid people less harmful to ourselves and others but all it does is take Darwin out of the equation and we have more stupid people.
I would tend to call them uneducated or ignorant, rather than stupid. I believe most all people have a capacity to learn far more than they know now (except for me, who will never be able to spell english ). The most vocal and persistent members of our society have glorified ignorance and made fun of learning. Then they have made a policy of sueing Darwin.

I saw a clever cartoon rap music video on youtube a while back. A piece of Art, really, and I think the guys who made it are brilliant. The video is pretty tame (by rap standards), no talk of killing cops or cap'n ho's. It uses vulgar language to state these (and other) positive messages:

Read a Book.
Brush your teeth.
Wear deoderant.
Take care of your kids.
Buy some land.

The clever part is how these positive messages are packaged in a crude and rude rap video, so that they might be absorbed by people who might need them most.

Now here is the crazy part: The creators of this video were castigated by their peers for the language content of the video. The positive content was dismissed as irrelevant.

I will not link it from here, it is not safe for work or home or really anywhere. Close your windows and put on your headphones. You can find it at youtube.com by searching for

DMite Read a Book
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Old 06-12-2008, 11:15 PM   #29 (permalink)
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i love that video, i saw it a while back, very good
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Old 06-12-2008, 11:21 PM   #30 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by ttoyoda View Post
Great post. So basically there is enough inexpensive fuel to run internal combustion engines way beyond the time humans migrate to other planets. The doom-mongers and hair-shirts-for-everyone-mongers never mention this kind of information. Why is that?

Do a Google search for Dr. Ira Leifer of University of California Santa Barbara. He's been studying methane hydrates and their effects on the atmosphere, and says there is a pile of this stuff on our ocean floors. The Japanese are looking to exploit a major deposit northeast of Japan in the Pacific Ocean. When things warm up (such as Siberian tundra) loads of methane are released into the atmosphere, and methane is a LOT (i.e., 25 to 100 times) worse than CO2. So, use the stuff for cheap energy or let it bubble into the atmosphere for nasty side effects.

And, while pondering hair-shirts, go on the NPR website for the Diane Rehm show of Monday or Tuesday of this week, and listen to how your gummit allows regulators in the UK and Dubai regulate the commodity trade of west Texas crude in THIS country, and about how Goldman Sachs et al speculate in oil and other commodities for as little as 7% down, cornering ~1/3 of the market thereby. They are colluding to manipulate the market in similar fashion to how Enron manipulated the California utility market some years back. Keep in mind that Enron and Ken Lay were Bush's biggest financial backers and raised him from a pup, politically speaking.

About half the price of oil today is the result of such contrived speculation, as opposed to supply vs. demand. Similar story with corn, wheat, etc., which explains food riots in Cairo, and kids eating mudpies in Haiti.

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